Nazareth’s tribute to the Anzacs

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Nazareth College's tribute to the Anzacs25 April 2017

By Deputy Principal Gary Giese, Nazareth College, Noble Park North.

Prior to 2015 Nazareth College held a short ceremony over the PA to commemorate ANZAC Day each year. But in 2015, to mark the Centenary of the Gallipoli landing, a more substantial ceremony was held in the College’s Wheeler Auditorium, bringing the whole school together.

The response from students and staff was overwhelming! The respect and reverence shown was remarkable; and that led to the whole-College gathering for the ceremony becoming an annual event.

This year’s Nazareth ANZAC Ceremony consisted of an outline of the history of the Gallipoli landing in 1915; a look at why ANZAC Day is so important to Australians; a tribute to the original ANZACs including excerpts from letters written by soldiers who were in the first landing party; and concluded with a photo tribute to the relatives of staff and students who have served in the Armed Forces, including my own father who served in World War II. This is an aspect of the ceremony we hope to expand in future years.

During the minute’s silence following the Last Post there was absolute quiet in the Auditorium. Our students always show a wonderful sense of occasion and respect in our ANZAC Commemoration.

College Vice-Captains Antonia Scandizzo and Lia Catanzariti began the ceremony by leading the College in Prayer. Together they recited Psalm 91 – which is the basis of ‘The Soldier’s Prayer’ prayed daily by many of those on the battlefields in World War One. Antonia commented that, ‘Our ANZAC Day Ceremony was very moving. It was truly eye-opening to see the number of staff and students who have family members who are war veterans. This ceremony helps us realise that ANZAC Day has very personal connections for many people in our school.’

Lia said that for her the ANZAC Ceremony was ‘something that was truly unique and something that I will always remember… The ceremony gave me an opportunity to reflect on how much we should respect those who served and fought for our country.’

College Captains Sarah Machuca and Edward Wong also felt a deep sense of respect for the ANZACs and were also touched by the ‘personal’ connections of staff and students. Sarah said, ‘The personal connections with the ancestors of students and staff who were soldiers helped create a truly emotional experience and gave us a better understanding of the respect due to those who fought for us under those treacherous conditions.’

Similarly, Edward commented that ‘We were privileged to have a Whole School Assembly to commemorate ANZAC Day. The ceremony made us all feel grateful to the brave soldiers who fought for our country.

View the Nazareth College Anzac Day Presentation.